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Newbie Winterization....have at it!

Old 09-09-2019, 07:23 AM
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Default Newbie Winterization....have at it!

Okay, at the suggestion of @HS2300 here's a New England Newbie winterization thread.

I'm planning to store my 26' I/O Cobalt on a trailer in my driveway. It should fit. Although if I the cost of indoor storage is similar to the cost of shrink wrapping/cover, I do have access to a truck to haul it. (Boat stands about 12 feet on the trailer)...so that could be an option. Though I like having it nearby so I can work on it during the late fall/early spring.

If it's in the driveway, it's the tarp v. custom cover v shrinkwrap debate...how much to offload, etc. I do have a custom cockpit cover (snap on) but I'm guessing that's not enough. And given my upholstered deck seating is NOT removable, I need to cover the boat. I'm within the Rt 128 belt, so we don't get the massive continuous snow loads that Gloucester or VT or Western MA gets. But, I do travel for work (at times), so I cannot assume I'll be home during a major storm (to knock off the snow off the cover).

Bring it on...Techie needs to learn.
Old 09-09-2019, 08:24 AM
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Tarp v Shrink Wrap v Custom Cover - I made this mistake last year. We were having tree work done and I didn't want to pay $500 to have it wrapped and have branches wreck it. We bought a huge tarp and covered it thinking we'd have it wrapped when the tree work was done. Long story short, the tree work didn't happen when it was supposed to and the tarp was on all winter. It ripped within a few months. DH had to go out and tape it up repeatedly. It was too long at one end and flapped around. DH broke his hand when he slipped while moving a fence post that was supposed to hold it down in the back. If we had to get on the boat (which we did many times) it was pitch black inside. The tarp let in no light - except where it ripped.
Quick answer - Don't go the tarp route. The boat was disgustingly dirty when we unwrapped it. We'll be shrink wrapping ours again this year. I plan on putting koozies over the ends of the rod holders on the hardtop since they cut through the wrapping every year.

It's great having the boat at home in your own yard to do work on it. We have ours moved by Scalisi Marine, they moved it for the previous owners and know it well. We leave everything onboard and it shows up in the side yard, it's great. We did put in a crushed stone pad the first year we bought the boat so that it has a solid base to sit on and we don't worry about the stands settling. Once it's home, we unload as much as we can. First order of business is always the coolers, the fridge and the galley. Then all the cushions and softgoods. DH is responsible for his fishing gear. Sometimes it all comes off, sometimes some of it stays on. It depends how busy he is (last year was a mess) We scrub it down, put 3 large Damprid buckets inside (1 in cabin, 1 in engine area, 1 in bilge) and once it's winterized we wrap it tight with a door so we can get in an out if we need to.
Old 09-09-2019, 09:00 AM
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Shrinkwrap. Youve got a $75,000 boat, dont cover it with a $50 tarp. Itll never holdup to our winters.

Next question.
Old 09-09-2019, 09:15 AM
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so you are asking if you should spend a few bucks on a tarp versus a few hundred on shrink wrap (which if you are careful you can re-use)? isn't that a decision for you to make yourself how much you care about your boat?
Old 09-09-2019, 09:29 AM
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A custom cover is going to cost you a couple of thousand, but you'll be able to use it year after year. They are not waterproof, they just keep the crud off the boat. My friend uses one for his sailboat and doesn't have any issues with it.

I'm surprised that you can find indoor storage so cheap. We were quoted over $1500 just to store ours outside at the marina. That didn't include winterization or shrinkwrapping. I just looked up their costs and it's $22/foot for shrinkwrapping and $63/foot for storage. So, corrected amount without winterization would be $2,550 for our 30' boat.
Old 09-09-2019, 09:42 AM
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I use a mobile shrinkwrap guy just north of boston.....$350 for my 25' cc.
Old 09-09-2019, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by nhmetalguy View Post
Shrinkwrap. Youve got a $75,000 boat, dont cover it with a $50 tarp. Itll never holdup to our winters.

Next question.
I think you are mistaking me for someone else. I have a $7.5k boat (more or less) that's 30 years old. But she's in good shape (she's a freshwater boat)..so I want to keep it that way.

So I was really debating between a custom cover and shrink wrap (tarps were more of a joke)...just a bit concerned about wrapping due to moisture/mold....particularly since there is a fair amount of upholstery that will have to remain on the boat during the winter.

Also, are there recommended custom cover shops north of Joisey? I'd pay $1k, not sure I'd pay $2k or $3k.

Last edited by TechieTechie; 09-09-2019 at 10:33 AM.
Old 09-09-2019, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TechieTechie View Post
So I was really debating between a custom cover and shrink wrap (tarps were more of a joke)...just a bit concerned about wrapping due to moisture/mold....particularly since there is a fair amount of upholstery that will have to remain on the boat during the winter.
I was concerned about not having vents the first year we wrapped the boat. The guy who did it recommended the really big damprid buckets and they did the job. Last year I didn't get one cushion off the boat and it was fine. Some of the guys around here might have experience with leaving the cushions on the boat while wrapped. I'm lucky I can drag them into the basement and wash the covers.
Old 09-09-2019, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TechieTechie View Post
I think you are mistaking me for someone else. I have a $7.5k boat (more or less) that's 30 years old. But she's in good shape (she's a freshwater boat)..so I want to keep it that way.

So I was really debating between a custom cover and shrink wrap (tarps were more of a joke)...just a bit concerned about wrapping due to moisture/mold....particularly since there is a fair amount of upholstery that will have to remain on the boat during the winter.

Also, are there recommended custom cover shops north of Joisey? I'd pay $1k, not sure I'd pay $2k or $3k.
Fair enough. I would still shrinkwrap it and throw some Dehumidifying buckets in there along with a couple boxes of moth balls. Like others said, the shrinkwrap can be used a few years in a row if you go easy on it. Ive owned 15-40' boats. Made the mistake a couple years ago of buying a tarp and tarping my Pursuit to save a few bucks. Turned out to be the worst snowfall in 10 years. My tarp disintegrated and held ice water which melted and froze into a small glacier. My buddies Parker shed every ounce of snow and never had a problem, parked next to me and shrinkwrapped.
Old 09-09-2019, 11:42 AM
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Everyone talks about re-using the shrinkwrap, how on earth do you do that? It's so tight when it's put on we have to cut it to get it off. Of course, DH also likes to leave as much of it on for as long as possible to keep leaves and pollen and stuff from falling onto the boat.
Old 09-09-2019, 12:50 PM
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I tarp mine. Built a small frame and it has worked well for me. No problems yet with snow or ice. The tarp is easy to get on and off if I want to do something with the boat. Cheap and simple.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:52 PM
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Tarp with a properly build frame is re usuable and works best for me.

Plus no pile of shrink wrap in the dumpster in the spring.

I get typically 2-4 years out of a green tarp on 25-30 foot vessel.

Frame is the key.
Old 09-09-2019, 01:46 PM
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I tried a large boat cover fro west marine one year with supports. Snow wrecked it. I then tried a large tarp the following year. The wind blew it off and almost took out the power lines with it! The rubbing from the tarp and cover those two years on the frame I built and the boat caused some damage. You can never get a tarp or cover like that tight enough in a nor'Easter storm. The wind will take out a strap at some point from the tarp moving so much.

I then went to shrink wrap. Money well spent. Custom fit. I was able to get 3 seasons out of one of my covers. If you approach the removal of the cover in the spring with the intent of using it again, you can make cuts in the right spots to slip it off and on again. I cut the bottom string that runs around the entire boat. Just dont make the mistake I did and complement the guy on his wrapping job when you decide to get a new one by saying you got 3 years out of the last cover. He may accadently burn a few extra holes and tape them up on the new job like he did with me to shorten the life span.

I park my boat in a shared lot so I always buy a door but ask them not to put it in and I store it for the winter. Best security to keep people out of your boat is to not have a door into it. In the spring when I start to work on it, I cut the hole for the door and duck tape it on. You can reuse the door too from wrap to wrap.

Get it shrink wrapped. You'll look more legit too and like you know what your doing come a winter storm
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:26 PM
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I used to use a tarp with frame and where we lived I could get 2 years out of the tarp. Then we moved close to the ocean. The first year I used the tarp and frame but we had a northeaster before there was even any snow and the tarp was disintegrated! I replaced it with a heavier tarp and got through the rest oi the winter. With the tarp you have to make sure there is a good frame, that the frame has cushioning at sharp junctures to prevent the tarp from ripping, the tarp is really well tied down, and get the snow off of it as soon as possible. One other problem I had was that one year squirrels decided it was a good place to live and among other things chewed up some wiring and other things.

I then went to indoor storage, but it was quite expensive. That expense is offset somewhat by noting having to pay for another type of cover and also not having to remove some equipment. On the other hand, many storage facilities do not allow work to be done on the boat except by their own people.
I finally concluded that the best bet is shrink wrap and having the boat in your own driveway if that's possible.

People have already mentioned the need to put Damprid buckets to remove moisture from the air and I would also add that you want to leave drawers, hatches cabinets and storage lockers open to allow air to circulate. If you are leaving cushions on board if found that leaving them standing on edge gives both them and any storage areas under them better air circulation.

One other decision you will need to make is whether or not to remove batteries from the boat.
Old 09-09-2019, 03:08 PM
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The reason why all tarps rip is that people buy junk tarps and then they use rope to tie it off. When wind gets under the tarp, there is no movement and something ends up destroyed. I bought a good tarp online about 10 years ago that I still use, only has a small rip that I used Gorilla Tarp Tape ( yes they do make it) to tape it off. I bought a spool of Bungee cord and the ends I found on Amazon. Because the tarp is able to move, it can't rip. To cover about 30 feet I use roughly 30+ cords.I would also suggest getting a hand operated Grommet Pliers that set grommets in one step, one squeeze.
Also I use 3/4 pvc conduit as a frame. I drilled holes in 1 1/2inch pvc for the conduit ribs....works like a charm
Old 09-09-2019, 03:28 PM
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A well done shrink wrap job can easily be reused 3 years, if not more.....
Old 09-09-2019, 03:41 PM
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Jen, say it aint so! The weather looks hot for the next 2 weeks. I thought we'd be prying your boat keys from your hands after Halloween at least.....

I love September and October in Boston Harbor.
Old 09-09-2019, 03:43 PM
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Okay, not sure I want to deal with the PITA of a frame...so let's assume shrink wrap unless someone can tell me where to get a great custom cover. I am 99% sure I cannot remove the upholstery on my bench seats (see below), and I have a upholstered cuddy interior (carpet, fabric 'walls'). So it sounds like shrink, with a zippered entry off the swim step, and with big buckets of damp rid are in my future.

So, I've been getting the dreaded brown leaks (trails of tears) from the bottom of some of my upholstery. I suspect I need to rebed my hardware (once in 30 years ain't bad). Recommended in fall or spring? Or does it matter?

Also, if anyone does woodwork and wants to rebuild my triangular cupholder (in the pic below) I'm hiring


Old 09-09-2019, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by South of Heaven View Post
Jen, say it aint so! The weather looks hot for the next 2 weeks. I thought we'd be prying your boat keys from your hands after Halloween at least.....

I love September and October in Boston Harbor.
Oh, I'm not saying I'll do it NOW...I just want to understand what I need to start thinking about (particularly since with my work schedule, weeks can fly by). I wish Pumpkin wasn't so spazzy on the boat, I could have worked from the boat this afternoon...but it gets dark almost too early now to take her out after work (driving down from the burbs after work, then casting off, etc).

Plus, I can't haul the boat yet, I have to purge my driveway of cars

Hey, I owe you a dinner with you and/or yours on the boat for all the help you've given me. Let's make it happen (heck, party for all local THTers...on Techie!).

PS, anyone interested in buying a 2004 BMW Z4 or winter beater 2001 BMW wagon, ping me!
Old 09-09-2019, 04:32 PM
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